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Tidying up:Cancer Edition

And while I’m at it, I’d just like to take this opportunity to say “thank you” to my cancer before I bid it farewell.

Dr. Emily McCatchey

The idea of putting Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up plan into action stirs up both panic and excitement all at the same time. While the goal of tidiness by choosing joy in our spaces is worthwhile, it’s the process that stops me before I even think of getting started.

Until I read a gem written by Dr. Emily McCatchey.

“KonMari” method is the central aspect of gratitude in the clearing of clutter. Keep only that which currently brings you joy, but don’t forget to be grateful to those belongings which served you before you discard them; taking a moment to say thank you to the object you are about to trash or donate.

In her article, Dr. McCatchey tells the story of “KonMari-ing” her home while her child was in the process of needing and undergoing open heart surgery. “After several months of work, I emerged remarkably freer, and with greater clarity than perhaps I have ever had at any point in my life. “

Her son is now healthy. She now has breast cancer.

Time, once again, to TIDY UP.

Goodbye hair. Thank you for framing my face just so and hiding the little wrinkles on my forehead. Thank you for the opportunity to know what it’s like to not have to plan the whole routine of washing, drying, curling, perfecting.

Goodbye energy: days of busyness and the feeling that I was accomplishing tasks that just must be done. Thank you for the downtime to look out the windows I clean in such a hurry that I never even noticed the birdhouse perched in the neighbor’s tree. Thank for you making me available for friends and family to sit and have meaningful conversation.

Then, the end goal (said best by Dr. McClathchey):

“Thank you, cancer, for distilling my life. Thank you for reminding me that I don’t really care about how much I weigh or whether I get those new shoes or if my house is sufficiently presentable to guests or if my two-year-old eats that bite of broccoli or my four-year-old takes 20 minutes to get her shoes on or my six-year-old stays up past her bedtime reading her favorite story again. You’ve completed your service in my life, cancer, and now you may go. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.”

Find your joy today. We’d love to help. Our 24 Hours in the Canyon Cancer Survivorship Center is full of joy. Joy from looking at yourself with a new wig, counseling sessions, nutrition counseling, oncology massage, group exercise classes (for all levels of strength), book club, and the list goes on… Learn more at

From all of us at the Harrington Cancer and Health Foundation

For more insight and wisdom, read Emily McClathcey’s full blog by clicking the link below.

Upping Your Odds of Remaining Cancer Free

An ounce of cancer prevention is worth more than a ton of cancer cure.

Robert A. wascher

We made it to February 1st. I don’t know about you, but the month of January tends to mosey on for us. For many, January is the month of New Year’s Resolutions: eat better, exercise more, get more sleep, drink more water. But let’s be honest, those usually last a week or two at best.

Maybe we set unattainable goals or just lose interest.

Let’s get it going again in February. There are just 28 days in this month. Why not change a few small things about your day, every day, that can make a BIG difference in your health?

HCHF’s tips to up your odds of remaining cancer free… It is National Cancer Prevention Month, you know.

  1. DRINK UP! Water that is… Most adults needs a minimum of 64 oz. per day. Filtered water is safer than most tap water. That morning cup of Joe also provides antioxidants.
  2. GO OUTSIDE! Fresh air and any level of activity is beneficial. Some sun exposure is good.. our bodies need Vitamin D. Don’t forget your skin protection: hats, glasses, sleeves, sunscreen, etc. Just 30 minutes of walking per day reduces your risk of cancer.
  3. BE A PICKY EATER! Go for the minimally processed foods: bright fruits and veggies, poultry, fish, and other sources of proteins from eggs and beans. Limit or avoid processed meats such as hot dogs, lunch meats and bacon.
  4. ON YOUR FEET! Pay attention to how much time you spend sitting. Stand while you watch TV, make a phone call, or fold your laundry.
  5. GET SCREENED! This doesn’t have to be scary. Check your skin for changes. Do self-breast exams. Listen to your doctor’s recommendations for certain types of screenings.
  6. GIVE IT A REST! Allow yourself time to relax and get adequate sleep. You’ll deserve it after all that standing, exercising, and healthy cooking you’re going to do each day.

Let us know what tips you have for upping your odds of remaining cancer free. Know someone who has already been affected by cancer? Our Cancer Survivorship Center can help!

HCHF is committed to the health of residents living in Amarillo and the surrounding communities. Visit our website to learn more about what we’re all about. .